Bloomberg News

Bayer Says Drug Held Off Gastrointestinal Tumors in Study

April 03, 2012

Bayer AG’s (BAYN) regorafenib prevented gastrointestinal tumors from worsening in a clinical trial, the second study this year to show the drug works against cancer.

Regorafenib met the main goal of “statistically significantly improving” the length of time that the disease didn’t spread in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors, Leverkusen, Germany-based Bayer said in a statement today, citing preliminary results from a study dubbed GRID. The trial is the last of three stages of studies typically needed for regulatory approval.

Bayer plans to seek regulators’ clearance of the drug in gastrointestinal tumors based on the GRID results, the company said. The research will be presented at a medical meeting, it said. A trial in colorectal cancer showed the drug kept patients alive longer, Bayer said on Jan. 18. The drugmaker plans to submit regorafenib for approval in metastatic colorectal cancer this year.

Regorafenib has the potential to generate more than 1 billion euros ($1.3 billion) in annual sales if it’s approved in several different types of cancer, Bayer said in December.

Bayer rose as much as 0.7 percent to 54.22 euros and was trading up 0.3 percent at 9:50 a.m. in Frankfurt.

The GRID trial, led by George Demetri of the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School in Boston, looked at patients whose tumors had spread or couldn’t be removed, and whose cancer didn’t respond to treatment with other drugs.

Bayer (BAYN) agreed last year to pay U.S. biotechnology company Onyx Pharmaceuticals Inc. (ONXX:US) a 20 percent royalty for the use of regorafenib in oncology.

To contact the reporter on this story: Phil Serafino in Paris at pserafino@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Phil Serafino at pserafino@bloomberg.net


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